What has four eyes, two tails and the tiniest fingers you've ever seen? A pair of Grey Mouse Lemurs! The Duke Lemur Center welcomed twins, a male named Filbert and a female named Scuppernong, on June 18th. At birth, they were no longer than an inch from nose to the base of the tail and weighed about .2 ounces (5 grams). They two have grown quickly! At just 3 weeks old, Scuppernong and Filbert weight about an ounce each (28 grams and 32 grams, respectively). Filbert is adventurous, exploring outside the nest box and showing interest in the fruit his mother eats. Scuppernong is more timid than her brother, preferring the nest box. At 2 months old, the twins are health and continuing to grow. Scuppernong is 1.5 ounces (44 grams) and Filbert is 1.6 ounces (46 grams).
These primates belong to the group that includes the world's smallest primates, though the species is the largest of the Mouse Lemurs. Adults weigh about 3 ounces (90 grams) and stand no more than 3 inches tall. At the Duke Lemur Center, they live socially the same way they do in their native habitat of Madagascar—females live in groups and males live solitary lives.
The Duke Lemur Center houses the only breeding colony of Grey Mouse Lemurs in North America. The program has been very successful, boasting a 100% success rate with infant Grey Mouse Lemurs. Scientists at Duke and all over the world are excited about the new advances in Mouse Lemur research. Genome sequencing and advances in noninvasive imaging technology allow scientists to peek inside a mouse lemur's brain to study the aging process.